The EDC’s 587 Project is nearing a major milestone, but you could be forgiven if you’re not sure what it is.
One of the EDC’s Big 4 goals for 2023, the name comes by adding the highway numbers from the project’s location: I-435 and Highway 152, or 587. The least developed interchange on Greater Kansas City’s I-435 loop, 587 is an opportunity to bring world-class development to a key location in Clay County and the metro area.
What could this development look like? Start with elements from Johnson County’s Corporate Woods and Wyandotte County’s The Legends. Mix in a newer version of the Independence Cable Dahmer Arena, top-quality outdoor sports facilities, a river walk and upscale hotels. Link all of this with parks, streetscapes and pedestrian friendly designs. The final product will represent billions of dollars in investment and provide a destination location unique to the region. If that sounds farfetched, remember that the interchange is a blank slate at a prime spot in Greater Kansas City.
“If you fly into Kansas City for a Chiefs or Royals game, you drive right past there,” explains EDC Executive Director David Slater. “It’s a prominent location that can be a jewel for Clay County and the entire region. It’s a rare opportunity.”
Seeking the Best Approach
Those currently involved in the effort include the EDC led by its Executive Committee, the City of Kansas City, and project consultant the Olsson Studio. Although the City of Kansas City will be involved in utilities and other infrastructure, the work now under way is focused on feasibility and basic planning – determining the best practical uses for this location. From that, Clay County will be able to present a practical plan to private investors.
Olsson began with an economic assessment study to examine existing competition, demographics, projected growth trends and suggestions for future development. This information was then used to create a suggested land-use diagram for the four quadrants of the study area.
Interviews were then conducted with major property owners, with the EDC formally introducing these owners to the project. The team also sought more ideas on what land uses would be most appropriate to spur large-scale economic development.
The group next held a series of brainstorming sessions with the Clay County EDC. These meetings were conducted to present initial programming opportunities that the Olsson Studio had conceptualized as destination points to draw not only the KC Metro, but the larger region as well. These ideas were vetted and then translated into graphic concept plans to be reviewed by the EDC.
Ultimately, the concepts were narrowed and revised to a final master plan. This master plan will serve as a framework identifying subprojects within the larger whole. This document will direct this future catalyst for Clay County and act as an illustrative graphic to present to developers and potential investors.
The 587 Project will be featured at the EDC’s Look North event Oct. 22.